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Dealership Marketing

This Is The One Marketing Tip All Dealers Need To Know

Too many dealers are overlooking this key marketing strategy. We're spilling the beans on how you can leverage it.

Person playing chess

In a recent LinkedIn post, Chris Walker (CEO of Refine Labs) exposes the reality behind false ad attribution and how it allows marketers to report inflated and inaccurate ROI. In this blog post, we’ll address why this practice is detrimental to dealers and provide essential tips for scaling your marketing results by leveraging one simple overarching principle. 

In this post, we'll cover:

Why False Attribution Gives Us The 'Ick'

Let’s start by asking, “why would marketers lean into ‘new’ tools that promote false ad attribution and reporting?”

Well, to stay in business and collect more of your advertising dollars, for one!

In all seriousness, the main reason is that in an attempt to scale, some agencies want to appear “cutting edge” without giving any concern for how it will impact their clients in the long run. They want to deliver the good news, ride it as long as they can, and then bow out when the wheels inevitably fall off. Ick.

“This method is great for marketers to ‘prove’ the ROI of ads by using the most generous attribution model ever. But it’s very poor to actually understand what’s working so you can scale results & growth for your business. The whole point of attribution is to collect data from a variety of sources to make smart strategy decisions, not to ‘prove ROI.’”  Chris Walker

These practices are, of course, something we don’t condone or participate in. They are carried out with a finite mindset in place: one that demands immediate results, no matter how shaky the ground these results stand on, instead of leveraging data that will drive results for future generations.

What we do believe in is using creative strategies based on marketing principles that can be adapted to grow along with your dealership business. Scroll down to see exactly what we're talking about!


The Only Marketing Tip You’ll Ever Need

OK, you might need more than just this one marketing tip! Dramatics aside, this strategy from Chris Walker is incredibly adaptive and foundational in its simplicity, which is why we’re highlighting it in this article:

To scale your marketing results: listening to customers >>> Everything.

Hmmmm. Could the key to ongoing marketing success be as simple as listening to your customers above everything else? Believe it or not, many dealers lose sight of how important this is, or they "listen" in all the wrong ways. They get caught up in the fancy (and sometimes false) attribution and ROI numbers mentioned above, and make advertising decisions that don't serve their market.

Let's take a look at some customer-centric marketing ideas you can use at your dealership to help ensure excellent results that will stand the test of time.

Customer-Focused Marketing Strategies You Can Implement Today

1. Use customer browsing and buying data to manage your inventory.

There can be a major disconnect between what dealers think people want, and what customers actually want. If you're promoting inventory that your customers are not interested in purchasing, you're going to inevitably hit a wall, no matter how much money you toss at your paid ad campaigns.

This starts with understanding what your customers are looking for, acquiring as much of that product as possible, and marketing it accordingly. You'll move a lot more inventory by listening to (and meeting) the demands of your customers.

Gain Valuable Inventory Insights With LiftKit

LiftKit's Vehicle Reporting Dashboard provides real data about what your customers are searching for and buying in your area. Find out which vehicle years, makes, models and even colours are selling best, so you can purchase more of what’s in demand and market it to your customers ahead of your competition.

Read More!

2. Listen to customer reviews.

It can be hard to hear negative customer feedback, but your bad reviews are just as important as 5-star ones. Set your ego aside and consider how you can learn and adapt your business based on customer feedback. Have you had complaints about your website user experience? Perhaps it's time to look for a new dealer website provider. Are people consistently mentioning long wait times in your service bays? Maybe you can work on strategies for shortening your service appointments.

Once you've made the effort to address customer concerns, don't be afraid to bring language into your marketing that speaks to the changes you've made. It will show your customers that you're listening and striving to do better, which is a surefire way to keep people coming back.

3. Practice active listening and ask questions.

Confidence is an important part of being a good salesperson, but many industry professionals steamroll their customers when it comes to helping them find the right vehicle for their needs, or they throw their hands up at the first signs of barriers and resistance. Think critically and creatively about the things your customers are telling you so that you can present them with options they are more likely to purchase. Challenges should be seen as opportunities to put your listening and problem-solving skills to the test!

At its core, being a good salesperson is having the ability to find a solution to someone's problem. You can't find the right solution for a customer if you aren't actively listening to their concerns.

4. Get in touch with your community.

There is no better way to develop a customer-centric marketing approach than by physically getting involved with your community. You will garner invaluable information that you can use when creating your marketing campaigns, including everything from advertising re-targeting to promotions to building a trustworthy brand that keeps a steady stream of customers coming through your doors.

Here is an example from Rainbow Motor Sales, a used car dealership in Coldwater, Michigan, that learned about the large demographic of Spanish-speaking people in the area who were underserved in the automotive space. They hired an onsite bilingual sales representative, ran targeted ads to an informative landing page, and collected unique leads their competitors missed out on.

5. Do something with your data.

We've already touched on this briefly, but it's worth repeating: listening to your customers is pointless if you're not going to do something about it. Your marketing team should be creating winning strategies that are in line with meeting the unique needs of your specific market. And if they're not, it's time to look for a different marketing agency!

Everything from your website analytics to your inventory data to your Google reviews to what your sales team is reporting offers clues into who your customers are and what they need. Use that information to drive your marketing efforts and watch your sales soar - no false attributions necessary.

Level Up Your Dealership Marketing With FlexDealer

Creative and customized marketing strategies are truly our specialty here at FlexDealer. We take a customer-centric approach to everything we do, focusing on your unique geographic region to develop campaigns that make the most sense for your dealership. From ideation to implementation, and anything you could need in between, we are your full-suite car dealership marketing and inventory management solution.

We'd love to connect about how FlexDealer can take your dealership marketing to the next level. Don't hesitate to contact us today for a free, confidential, and no-obligation call with one of our friendly team members!

Connect With FlexDealer



Sarah Strehler      

Sarah Strehler      

Sarah is a passionate writer, educator, and marketer. Her creativity knows no bounds and she's eager to help dealers think outside the box - and have a bit of fun in the process.

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